Heart's Interlude

My very first InuYasha fanfic! I don't own the series by the way.

Gilded, gold leaf molded ribbons curled, wrapped and beribboned every inch of the ceiling and columns within the grand church that stood on a lush emerald lawn. In a room off in a hidden side corridor stood the bride. A young woman of nineteen with skin the color of ivory, artificial blush dancing across her cheeks. Soft waves of ebony cascaded down her back, her figure lithe, natural curves enhanced by the satin dress she wore, as pure as freshly fallen snow.

Though it was the day she was to be married, her plush lips as soft as sakura blossoms did not tilt upwards at the corners, no sparkle was found in her chocolate orbs. Her gaze went from the floor-length mirror to the window, her body curling up on the window seat. She frowned at the sunlight as it poured into the room, not filtering through branches of evergreens like she wanted it to be.

She inhaled lightly, breathing in the scent of roses and baby's breath. It wasn't the scent of hydrangeas or lilies, no stinging perfume of various herbs simmering in a pot over a cheerful fire. As she listened to the faint sounds of the violins warming up and the small choir practicing scales, the bride knew she would much rather be listening to the rushing of waterfalls, chirping of birds and the soft whisper of the nightly winds as they wove their way through reeds.

She stood, longing for the polished hardwood floor to be a soft, yet somewhat scratchy forest carpet caressing her bare feet, silence ringing instead of the sharp click-clack of heels. Anything to be rid of the heels.

Her gaze returned to the mirror. Only, instead of seeing her reflection, she saw a tall young man who looked to be in his early twenties, dressed in a bright scarlet kimono she knew to be the fur of a fire rat. Long silver hair tumbled down his shoulders, small white canine ears perched on top of his head. His eyes a soft gold stared at her, no smile graced his face either. Her heart lurched.

In the back of her mind a series of memories ran through like a film. She had been sitting, back against an ancient oak, knees bent, hands covering her eyes as she counted aloud before opening them and running off to find the hidden kitsune.

When she had burst through the hedges, she had accidentally stumbled across a feasting centipede youkai, it quickly deciding that she would be its next course. Yet before it could come within twelve inches of her, her hanyou hero intervened, making quick work of the giant centipede with his curved sword. He then turned toward her and swiftly grabbed her arm, marching through the forest, ignoring her protests and questions.

The two had stopped at an old, yet surprisingly sturdy well. As his hand clenched hers, her stomach became filled with dread. Not again…

A sigh escaped his lips, he doesn't look at her. "I-I know you promised to be by my side forever, but I just can't…I just can't risk you getting hurt, or dying!"

"What are you trying to say?" She manages to get out. "You're forcing me to go back to the future? It was just a centipede demon! I could've handled it on my own! Arrows or not!"

"I know, I know!" He begins to babble. "I-it's just that what if something went wrong? I'm not going to be able to always be by your side every second of the day! And it's not like I can drag you everywhere with me! You're a person, not some kind of pet!" He sighed. "I'm sorry."

He pulled her into a tight hug, taking care not to jeopardize her breathing. He buried his face in the crook of her neck, committing her gentle scent to memory. She remained rigid in his grasp, afraid that if she returned the embrace, her heart would break.

"I'm sorry," He murmured a second time before pulling away and gripping her arms before shoving her down the well, his heart wrenching as he listened to her sobs.

Coming out of her reverie, the bride focused on the mirror, the boy's image still cast in the reflection. Well, it's been three years and today I'm getting married. What you doing right now?

Thanks to her imagination, the boy shifted uncomfortably, his golden eyes betraying his guilt. A sigh. Probably go join Kikyo in hell like I said I would.

Hell. A place where flames lick at your soul as you walk on endlessly through planes of utter darkness for all of eternity. It truly seemed like a lonely existence. Is this that what you want? You wish to be alone InuYasha?

A knock on the door caused her head to snap toward it, the image of InuYasha subsequently fading.

The mother of the bride stepped into the room, a small smile gracing her face. "Kagome, honey, it's time."

When her daughter struggled to return the smile, Mrs. Higurashi's brow furrowed.

"Are you sure you want to go through with this?"

The young bride smiled tightly, looking down at the flowers, her hand quickly forming a death grip around the stems. She winced as a stray thorn pierced her delicate skin. Looking at the bead of blood forming on her ring finger, she recalled a time when InuYasha tended to a similar wound with such gentleness, a mannerism typically hidden from the world.

She finally spoke, "It's the right thing to do, isn't it Mama?"

Her mother frowned. "Now whoever said that?"

She bit her lip, her smile becoming sheepish and unsure. "I have a set future. A job and now a husband. Besides, Hojo is a really sw--"

"Kagome Higurashi!" Her mother snapped. "You stop right there!" The girl's brown eyes were wide with surprise at her mother's tone.

"Whoever told you that this was the life meant for you?" Mrs. Higurashi asked gently. "Was is those friends of yours? Yuka, Eri and Ayumi?" Sighing she went over to her daughter and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Kagome dear, I thought you were better than following the orders of others. What happened to my strong willed daughter who followed her heart rather than her head?"

The eldest Higurashi daughter looked out the window silent for a moment before answering. "She had gotten her heart broken for the final time."

"So this is it?" Her mother gently pressed. "You're going to get married and not go back and try to fight?" She grasped her daughter's chin and turned her head to face her.

"Kagome, I know that for nights upon nights for the past three years you would sit at the bottom of the well digging relentlessly, trying to break the barrier and summon the space time continuum that would let you go back. I've noticed you trying to hide the dirt and cuts on your hand from the paper of Jii-chan's books." She smiled. "Don't let this saying die, 'A mother always knows'."

"This is no longer your home Kagome. You know that as well as I. Your heart no longer belonged here as soon as you fell down the well on your fifteenth birthday." Mrs. Higurashi hugged her daughter. "Go home. Be happy. You have my blessing."

Released from a promise she knew she could never keep, the young woman smiled brightly. "Thank you Mama." She then hugged her tightly. "I'm going to miss you, everyone." Leaning back, her expression became confused. "But…how will you explain my disappearance?"

Her mother smiled slightly mischievously, "Jii-chan will come up with an excuse." She brushed a stray lock of black hair from her daughter's face affectionately. "He always does." She winked. "Now, go on home!"

The former bride smiled as she stood. "Hai, Mama."

The sun kissed her face with its gentle warmth as cool breezes caressed her silky tresses. She ran down the sidewalk, ignoring the odd looks she was receiving for running while still garbed in her wedding dress. Kicking off her heels, she picked up the pace, leaping up the many steps to her family's shrine, two at a time.

When she rounded the corner, she stopped short, her eyes widening in shock, her mouth falling open slightly. There, in front of the Goshinboku in his crimson garbed, silver-haired glory stood her favorite hanyou. He snorted, but his golden eyes held a spark of mirth as he asked, "Are you gonna stand there and gawk all evening or are you going to actually say something?"

Her lips moved, a good minute passed before she finally managed to get her voice to obey. "I-InuYasha…wh-what are you doing here?"

He crossed his arms over his chest, taking on the picture of childish stubbornness. "What do you think, stupid? I'm taking you home!" He became alarmed at the sound of her weeping. "K-Kagome? Why are you crying?! Is it because I called you stupid? I'm sorry, just please stop crying. And whatever you do, don't tell me to--"

She let out an indignant huff before rushing toward him with a cry. "InuYasha!" She embraced him tightly, with a strength that could have well matched his own, she was overcome with so much emotion. She then grabbed the front of his haroi and pulled him down so his lips met her own for a fierce, passionate kiss, one that the hanyou eagerly returned.

Obeying the need for air, she asked breathlessly, "What made you change your mind?"

He smiled, "Because I couldn't stand being without. Three days was difficult enough, three years, now that was hell. Trust me." He kissed her lightly. "Let's go home."

For the first time in what may have been the entirety of three years, Kagome smiled brightly.

All was quiet in the place long ago dubbed as The Forest of InuYasha. Two young people, a hanyou male and a miko lay in the grass opposite of each other, heads so close. They stared up at the stars that blanketed the darkened heavens, twinkling and sparkling from above. Long hair fanned out, tendrils of ivory and ebony intertwining like Yin and Yang.

Kagome sighed happily, "This has got to be the best time of day."

InuYasha snorted softly. "Women, you just love the stars because they're all sparkly and junk."

She giggled. "Come on InuYasha," she said in a placating tone. "You know you like coming out here because it keeps you calm."

"Not true," he replied. "I like coming out here because of the company." He reached up, soon smiling as he felt a soft, slender hand lace fingers with his long, calloused ones.

Kagome smiled, "I'm so glad to be home."

InuYasha returned the smile with a smirk. "Welcome home Kagome. Welcome home."

Gah, not my best work, but it's something. Please read and review!